Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 48

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 48

Trust Your Gut this week is going to be positive. I got on the scale again, and I am down from my trip in the wrong direction. I was down a pound less than since the last time I checked and was going the right way again. It went a little wrong there, for a bit. I am finally starting to get things going in the right direction, again.

I think it does have to do with me packing more lunches and eating at home more. Not that I always eat the healthiest things, but there is more control when you are making things for yourself.

I am probably starting to adapt to my new schedule. Well, that goes out the window on Sunday. The good news is that I am going to be back to my regular schedule. For now. That can change, and it is one of the things that I will have to adapt to if it does, but I really hope that it works out well for me.

I am figuring things out creatively and using my brain to get results. I have more self-confidence because I am finally starting to believe that I can make the changes I need to change what is happening in my life. I will not change everything all at once, but I notice that I am making a larger effort to do the things that matter again.

Maybe the Shrinker is helping. Ooh, cayenne. Sometimes there is a little too much, and it is hard to make myself drink it. But I force it down if it is too spicy, because it still mostly tastes good, and I do think it is helping. I was also happy to find a new type of chocolate chai tea to add to it when I run out of the tea bags I had in the back of the cupboard. I am starting to use the recipes and knowledge I had learned when I started THM, and I am confident that if I don’t go too far away from it, I will start losing more weight.

Speaking of losing weight, I am kind of upset about one thing. The first place I see it is on my chin when I am retaining fluid, but you will never guess where I seem to lose it first. My fingers, of all places. My ring slid on a little easier today. Now if you remember, being able to wear the engagement ring and my wedding band comfortably on my ring finger is a Non-Scale Victory that I am working towards, and I felt a little bit closer to that goal this morning. Small blessings are not to be taken for granted, even if they seem annoying when you look at the big picture.

#TrustYourGut

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 48

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 47

This week in Trust Your Gut, I want to focus on the big picture for this category. I am morbidly obese, with type 2 diabetes, thyroid disease, and a few other less dramatic health issues. The ones that relate here the most are the ones that I write about. However, when I started writing in this category, I did have a bigger picture in mind.

Some people have participated in telling their stories here. It is a brave thing to do, to write down one of the biggest things that play such a large role in your day to day life. Your weight, your appearance, how you see yourself, and how you think the rest of the world sees you. I work on this material every week, and lately, I have been finding myself at a loss for what to write about.

My story is written to be real, and honest. It is relatable, and I know that it resonates with many of the people that read this Blog, maybe only for this story every week. I really appreciate each and every one of you that have become fans of this category, and the whole Blog, of course.

Don’t worry, I am not dumping it. I will still be writing every week. What I want to do is to reach out to more people. I have a one-sided view of the struggles I am having with my weight. One thing that women, and of course men and children have in common in this world is that we all have imperfections that we do not like about ourselves. It might be that you are struggling with a number, but not the one on the scale, the one on the tag of your clothing, the size. Another person may have issues with not seeing their true self in the mirror. Some people look at their reflection and see what used to be there, or see themselves as fat when in reality, they aren’t.

Karen Carpenter’s story is a well-known story about a real person who had everything to live for but died from anorexia and complications related to that disease. Bulimia is another issue that people have that is not something that I could imagine having to deal with, but I know that there are people out there that struggle just as hard as I do, with their own issues relating to their weight. I was watching This Is Us and this week they touched on another side character’s story. She has been written into the show as a person who is dealing with the perception that she is fat, overeating, and purging after she eats too much. That is a very basic description of bulimia.

Stories about people that have these other issues are not mine to tell. They are the stories of other people. They could be featured here in this category, as a side character story. I am hoping that this week someone reads this and thinks that they might be brave enough to share their story. I would love the opportunity to help you help yourself by telling the story, and maybe you can help someone else that is just like you. That is my ultimate goal here, with my story. I want to help people like me, with ideas of new things to try and to share what is working for me, and what is not.

If you are like me, struggling with the overweight end of the scale, I am open to stories from everyone that is brave enough to share them here. If you are not a writer, I can talk to you and work with you to develop a story here for you, or I can send some questions and we can write it like an interview, where you answer some or all of the questions, whatever you are comfortable sharing.  Let’s face it, I do have a story to tell, but if it is always my story, at some point it will be repetitive and boring. That will make people lose interest, and that would not help people like I have intended to do here.

If you have contributed to this category in the past, and want to write an update, that is also something that I would be very happy to set up with you. I am always trying to help people, and learning about different people and their issues helps me just as much as reading my story can help you.

My gut is telling me that it is time to put out an invitation to new and different stories and points of view here, in this category. If you are reading this, and have a story to tell, please reach out to me in the comments below, or in a private e-mail (tishmacwebber@gmail.com with the subject: Trust Your Gut Submission). I sincerely want to hear from people that are struggling with their weight, on either end of the scale, so that together, we can help each other, and help people like us.

#TrustYourGut

 

 

My first Guest Blog, and a little more of the back story.

My first Guest Blog, and a little more of the back story.

Pink Shirt Day

Pink Shirt Day 2017

Earlier in the year, Kirsty Allen, of her blog The Ramblings of a Madwoman posted an opportunity for guest blogging.  It interested me, as a newbie here, I wanted to give it a whirl and see what happened.  We were given a prompt, and I chose to write about a recent conflict.

I thought about it, as I am Always Thinking…

I replied with an idea about learning how to stand up for myself.  This is something that is a new skill in my life, and I have been improving it in the last few years.  I still have my moments, but I like to think I am more capable of defending myself than I was 10 years ago.

The last Wednesday in February is Pink Shirt Day in Canada.  I am all for raising awareness about the anti-bullying movement, and I shared reminders on my personal facebook wall the day before Pink Shirt Day, 2017.  It came as a surprise when I had negative replies in response to those reminders. I replied in the most constructive way I could, trying to turn around the negativity.  It didn’t go too far, and I did see that one person decided to express their negative thoughts on their own wall.  To each their own.  A good rule of thumb for social media.  If the discussion had continued to escalate on my wall, I would have had to take further action.  Thankfully, it didn’t.

In true Tish fashion, I had made a decision about the best way I could handle this.  I decided that I would use the anger and disappointment I felt as a result of what happened on my wall, and spin it in my guest blog post.

It was a challenge.  I started with the pantser approach I use, and just typed away.  The goal for the word count was 200 to 700 words, in short story format.  When I finished the rough draft, I had 1800 words, give or take a few.  So then I had to get really serious and edit the fluff out of it.  I have certainly had a lot of experience with bullies in my life, there was no shortage of examples.

After a furious editing session, I worked on it for 2 days or more, I had it down to just over 800 words.  I updated Kirsty with my progress and asked her about the size of the picture she needed for the submission to be complete.  With that information, I was able to send it to her.  Then I waited.  I am proud that I was able to send it in before the deadline.  That was important to me, as I am a procrastinator by nature.

It was hard to be patient, but I did that too.  I checked for a response several times a day, waiting for her reply.  I wondered if I missed the mark with the word count,  or if it was not going to be a successful submission.

When I saw Kirsty’s message, I was over the moon happy!  She told me that it would indeed be published, and that, “I really enjoyed reading your piece, it was so relatable and well written that I nearly cried. .” I quoted that at work and for a few days after that.  It validated my talents as a writer, and also really made me feel good that I accomplished the task at hand.

I am pleased to share this story here, in a link format.  There is a reason we Bloggers do this together.  We share stories on each other’s websites to challenge our own writing abilities, but also to increase traffic to each other’s websites.  It may not make much sense to those of you out there just reading my stories that I link to my wall, but in the blogging world, it does matter.  So if you like my story, and you take the time to read it, please take a few minutes to check out The Ramblings of a Madwoman by Kirsty Allen.  I recommend “It’s called Project Echo. We’re a top secret, select group of special people and we’ve been monitoring you.”, as I really enjoyed this story.  I was inspired when I read Motivation March, to leave a comment for her about this piece.  She is a talented writer, and I am liking her stories too.

Here is the link for my first guest submission on Kirsty’s website.  I hope you check it out.  I am proud of how it came together.

It’s not just about the pink shirt, it’s about changing your attitude

 

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 48

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 4

 

Trust Your Gut is a series of stories about real people with weight issues, and complications arising from those issues.  It will explain what the person is facing, what their options are, what they have decided to do to take action, and why they chose the path they are on.  Each person’s story will be based on truth, so it won’t all be happy, but it will be real.  The goal of this series is to get people talking about options that are available for people who have weight issues, on either end of the scale.  If you would like to contribute to this series, there is a contact form linked on my Home page for this blog.  I know there are people out there that want to help people like them; as I do.

The names here may or may not reflect the person’s real name.  If someone wants to remain unknown, we will choose a different name for that person’s story.  The goal is to help people, and anonymity is a valid personal choice for contributors.  I will use a person’s name only if they give permission to do so.

Here is the next addition to my own story, Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 4

What do you do when the scale doesn’t move the right way, or it refuses to move at all?  Do you yell at it, or kick it?  Do you get a weapon of mass destruction?  (See what I did there)? Do you hide it in the closet, or throw it into the garbage?  What do you do?  I mutter under my breath.  And I think about what I have eaten in the last 24 hours.  I wonder if I should go to the bathroom and try again, to see if it gets better.  Not always.  I have tried this, and it is a gamble.  Sometimes it is worse the second time around.

A bathroom scale can be your best friend, your worst enemy or your most destructive obsession.  We have all been there, those of us with weight issues.  Watching it go in the right direction, up or down. Feeling ecstatic when it moves the right way and devastated when it doesn’t.

If you are on the high end of that scale, like me,  waiting for the number to drop, it can be very discouraging to eat healthily, have no cheats, exercise, drink your water, and not lose weight.  Or GAIN weight.  Fluid in your body does fluctuate so that accounts for the small changes seen on the scale if you climb on it every day.  In the morning, after you use the bathroom, buck naked. Right?  Don’t you do the same thing?  Isn’t that when we weigh the least, so it should show the best result?  Before climbing in the shower, because someone said you retain fluid when you are in the shower.  Wait, what?  Really?  Time to google that. The answers are conflicting, that can’t be true.  So what gives?  Why does this thing called a plateau plague each and every person trying to lose weight?

It can be muscle.  When you are building muscle, the mass of muscle is heavier.  What that means is that less muscle mass is needed to weigh the same amount as fat.  Think of it in terms of a beach ball, and a medicine ball.  The beach ball bounces and will ride on the wind.  It would take many more beach balls on the scale to weigh five pounds, as compared to the same five pounds in one medicine ball.  A pound equals a pound, but the density of the material used to make up that pound can vary in volume, because of that density.

Now think about moving around with the five pounds of balls attached to you.  It is a lot easier to move with the medicine ball, even though it requires more effort to do so.  Huh? Volume strikes again.  It is the same five pounds, but the difference is like walking around with a cat in your arms versus trying to walk around in a puffy marshmallow suit.The cat may be heavy in your arms, and you feel a little pressure, but it is easier to move from sitting to standing and walking around while holding a cat.  If you were alternatively covered in a suit of marshmallows, it would be sticky and puffy and it would be much harder to move around.

While we all try to decide if that analogy makes any sense, I’ll bounce the ball over to the how.  When you have large amounts of fat, your body has to work very hard to burn off the fat.  Think of it like cleaning the marshmallow suit off.  You would have to scrub at it and wash it off and wash your clothes and spend a lot of energy to remove the residue.  That is a lot of work and can seem for a long time like it is not worth all that effort.  But if your five pounds is a cat, you put the cat down and walk away.  You lose the extra weight more quickly.  Your muscles burn off energy much more efficiently than fat does. If you are familiar with cats, they don’t always act the way you expect them to.  They don’t always want to be picked up or put down.  And they leave little bits of fur everywhere.  If you think of the little tufts of fur as how you build muscle, you will understand that the muscle fibres get stronger as they build and grow, similar to the ball of fur you take off your clothing with a lint brush.  It adds up, a little at a time.  It takes more work to gather it all together.  Sometimes it will surprise you how much cat fur there is when you take the time to gather it all up.

Weighing yourself can become an obsession, and it can be stressful to weigh in too frequently.  When I find myself starting to be anxious about what the scale is going to show me, I know I need a break.  If it isn’t moving, and I am working hard to make changes, I have to remember that I sometimes will show gains on the scale.  It isn’t always bad.  If the weight gain is from building muscle, it means I am on the way to another drop because more muscle burns through more fat faster.  It is a good thing when it is happening for the right reason.

Back to my quick online research.  I saw that you can gain wait in a shower.  I saw that you can lose weight in a shower, and it is not because of urinating while in the shower.  People actually wrote that.  I did find out that if you have wet hair, especially if it is wrapped in a towel, you will weigh more after the shower if you step on the scale and forget the towel is in your hair.  So I am going to keep to my routine, and leave the shower out of the equation.  It seems to be the most reliable method for me.

One final thought.  I would never recommend walking around in a sticky, puffy marshmallow suit while carrying a cat.  Don’t try this at home.  Ever.  The results would be traumatic for you both.

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 48

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 3

 

 

Trust Your Gut is a series of stories about real people with weight issues, and complications arising from those issues.  It will explain what the person is facing, what their options are, what they have decided to do to take action, and why they chose the path they are on.  Each person’s story will be based on truth, so it won’t all be happy, but it will be real.  The goal of this series is to get people talking about options that are available for people who have weight issues, on either end of the scale.  If you would like to contribute to this series, there is a contact form linked on my Homepage for this blog.  I know there are people out there that want to help people like them; as I do.

The names here may or may not reflect the person’s real name.  If someone wants to remain unknown, we will choose a different name for that person’s story.  The goal is to help people, and anonymity is a valid personal choice for contributors.  I will use a person’s name only if they give permission to do so.

Here is Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 3.

I love food.  I love to eat.  Sometimes I eat too much.  Other times I eat the wrong things.  I don’t allow myself to participate in guilt about eating.  I have cravings.  I give in to them.  I find if I don’t; I go way overboard when I finally cave.  I can settle for one of each flavour in a bag of candy.  It’s better than having the whole bag.

I don’t always make poor food choices.  I don’t always eat until I feel sick from overeating.  I don’t always have more than one helping.

I do associate food with feelings.  I think chocolate tastes like happiness.  Most sweets do to me.  Dessert used to make my day.  I have started to tackle that problem.  I am addicted to sugar, and it is bad for me.  Sugar is a diabetic’s kryptonite, only you want it, unlike Superman, he fights to stay away from it.  Even Superman needs help with his kryptonite sometimes.  It’s not an addiction for Superman, but like me and sugar, it is better to keep far away from it, at all costs.

When I was growing up, there could never be enough Kool-Aid in my water.  If it was so thick I had to chew it, that was how I wanted it.  Currently, I have actually started reacting to things being too sweet.  It was nothing I had experienced before, until recently, in the last two or three years.  Age has to be a factor in this.  Certainly, my change in eating habits has also contributed to this foreign concept.  Not allowing as much sugar in my diet has increased my sensitivity, I think.  Similar to the non-smokers reacting to the smell of cigarettes.  A scent-free environment really highlights any scent that enters into it, and this might be what is starting to happen to me, with sugar.

I am not on the aspartame train.  I have found that I feel better when I cut it out of my life.  I am trying other sweeteners, I am using stevia, and erythritol which is also known as Swerve.  It comes in granular and powdered forms, and I have started to figure out how to use it in food and drinks.  Swerve does leave a cool feeling on the tongue but doesn’t have a nasty aftertaste.  I used to drink a lot of pop.  Now I can go days without it, and try to only have it as a treat.  I didn’t like Zevia, a pop made with stevia, the first, second, or even the third time I tried it.  But I kept trying it, and now I enjoy it.  It has to be really cold, and then it is good.  I haven’t gotten to the stage where I choose water over other beverages yet.  I am working on that, too.

The Trim Healthy Mama (THM) plan I follow most of the time has me trying new things a lot.  I like every recipe I have tried, and that is a big bonus.  I fall short on a night like tonight, when I worked all day, and then came home to what the snowplow left in my driveway.  The heavier snow that clumps all together at the end of your driveway, where it meets the road?  Yeah, a foot of snow blocking me from parking in my driveway.  My husband has hurt himself shovelling earlier in the week.  80 cm of snow (that is 2.62 feet) in one storm was a little too much for us to tackle.  The storms of this week are being called Snowmageddon.  We went at it together, taking turns with the one shovel, working our way from the step to the shed where the other shovels were. I got the dustpan out to putter with between turns.  He pushed himself, and now he is starting to recover, as this was a few days ago.  We got a guy with a tractor/snowblower rig to widen the driveway so I could dig the car out and move it.  I was not going to be done before spring; otherwise. It stormed again last night, and I was up and at em this morning, and got myself shovelled out and drove myself to work.  Then I came home.  Ugh.  I mean, yay,  exercise.  I spent an hour and fifteen minutes pushing and pulling the snow out of my driveway.  Ten minutes for swearing, and another ten talking myself out of crying in a heap.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My back is not a happy camper, either.  But I pushed through…the snow, the anger and the agony of it all…and came in for supper and a beer.  I am going to have another drink too.  I worked hard moving around a lot of freaking snow this week.  My back is not amused, but I have not hurt it.  I went to Zumba last night, and upped my activity levels for the week big time, up and over the top of all those snow mountains in my yard.  So when I was being asked if I wanted him to make homemade pizza for supper,  I told him to make it.  Is it on the plan? No.  Did I stay on plan by eating everything but the crust?  Not a chance.  Sometimes you have to make the easier choice because it makes more sense.  I was on plan for the rest of the day, so this was not going to ruin everything.

One thing I learned with THM is that you don’t have to wait until Monday to start over.  You don’t even have to wait until tomorrow.  In 3 hours, you can be back on plan, working on your goals again.  I like that.  It works for me.  When I see that I am not making progress, I know what I did that was not on plan, but I don’t beat myself up over it.  I just start again, and every time I do this, I work a little bit harder to stay on plan.  Eventually, I will be able to say no to more things that are off plan, and yes to more things that are on plan.  Little by little, I am making progress.  Someday all of those little things are going to really add up.  So I keep working on me, and I let myself be human and take the easy meal sometimes.  The important thing is for me to not take it every time.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I am 5’2 3/4″ tall.  That snow bank is indeed taller than I am.  Let’s hope there is no more snow on the way anytime soon!

%d bloggers like this: